OCT 2, 2001


The full moon was to rise this evening and I wanted to be on the water adjacent to the Great Spirit Wilderness at sunset and moonrise.

As I departed from the boathouse, I looked across the adjacent cove and a magnificent Eagle was perched in a high tree watching me. I talked to him and told him that I was very happy to seem him and to please not be frightened and pose until I had taken his photograph.

The Eagle was very cooperative and I was able to take several shots of him as I passed by in the boat. As I neared Princess Point, Mr. Eagle flew off toward the opposite shore. Ahead I was happy to see a couple of Pelicans and a Great Egret feeding together. This morning I had seen a beautiful flock of Pelicans soaring adjacent to a flock of Turkey Vultures. The hummingbirds had flitted about squabbling over control of the feeders and the Black Crowned Night Heron had posed for photos for the first time. It had been a beautiful day.

Upon arriving at Arrowhead Beach, at the tip of the Great Spirit Wilderness, I sifted through the rocks which had been exposed by the waves and found several beautiful Indian knives and other tools.

I walked down the beach and at the far end I saw a dead Monarch butterfly which had washed ashore. It was both a pitiful and beautiful sight—its wings disheveled and glued to the sand—its legs and body twisted and bent.

I wished for my camera which was in the boat at the far end of the beach so decided to pick the dead butterfly up and re-deposit her on the beach closer to the boat and the camera.

The beautiful insect was cold, its wings limp, wet, and coated with sand. I was holding it gently in my warm hand and halfway down the beach I felt a tiny twitch, then another and another. I looked at the butterfly and I saw no sign of either movement or life yet there continued the feeling of life in my hand.

When I arrived opposite the boat I bent down and washed the sand off of the butterfly and I saw a leg move, and then an antenna. I said, “Dear God, please restore life to this beautiful example of your Creation so that she may continue her journey to Mexico for the Winter and be with her family and friends.

I closed my eyes while holding her in my hand and when I opened my eyes I saw definite signs of life. I moved her wings back into proper position and placed her upright. Her tiny legs began to move and search for a foothold. She clung to my finger and I placed her on a nearby log.

At first she looked very weak and pitiful so I continued my prayers and went further down the beach to search for more rocks while waiting for the sun to set and the moon to rise.

At the last glow of sunset I returned to the log to say good-by to God’s precious butterfly and she had regained much of her strength. She was resting upright with her wings held high. I felt confident that by morning she would be able to join her friends on their long and dangerous migration south.

If she is able to make the long journey will she survive the terrorists who are destroying the home of the Monarchs in Mexico? Last year millions were murdered by timber thieves who destroyed much of the forest which is home to the butterflies.

Would she have been better off left for dead on the beach or was she miraculously returned to life for a purpose too mysterious to comprehend?

As I contemplated the specter of death and the miracle of life the last glow of the sunset was overwhelmed by the majesty of a pregnant and glowing moon rising over the water and casting a pulsating corridor of gold on the undulations of the waves.


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